Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Terrific Tomatoes

You learn something new every day! For instance, I never realized that Tomato(e) plants are related to the Nightshade plant - that of the deadly nightshade variety! But of course, "our" tomatoes don't poison us, in fact quite the opposite according to much medical research.

In years past tomatoes were thought to protect aging men from the risks of prostate cancer: sadly, this did not survive the rigors of further scientific testing and has been quietly dropped from health recommendations. Now, however, Finnish researchers have published a paper which hails the benefit of the trusty tomato - we'll drop the "e" for the benefit of our US cousins - thanks to the presence within it's lustrous red skin of Lycopene which may reduce the risk of Strokes in men. So whilst it may not benefit the contents of your pelvis, it may bolster the health of your brain!

"The results support the recommendation that people get more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous research. This may decrease costs of health care in public health," Dr. Karpp, from the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio stated. "Lycopene reduces inflammation, inhibits cholesterol synthesis, improves immune function, and prevents platelet aggregation and thrombosis and thereby may decrease the risk of stroke," he added.

So to all those down in the southern part of the globe, start planting some Tomato plants and plan to feast on them during the long summer months - there's a host of ways to do that: fresh, in salads, sun-dried, reduced to make pasta sauces - so get the recipe books out. And for our northern family, although home grown Tomatoes have better taste and flavour, there's still great benefit in the ones in the Supermarkets and even the tinned ones are packed with powerful Lycopenes. 

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1 comment:

Sifa’s Corner said...

Very informative article! I just posted one regarding foods with medicinal values... check it out!